Ballina Seat Too Close to Call

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The National Party says there’s no clear winner in the seat of Ballina and it’s too early to call.

The seat comes down to a contest between the Nationals and the Greens.

The ABC’s election analyst Antony Green is predicting the seat will be taken by the Greens with an estimated 56.9% of the vote, once preferences are distributed.

The Nats candidate Kris Beavis is not ready to concede defeat.

Mr Beavis said the party has a strong lead in the primary vote and there are still postal votes and preferences to be counted.

“Obviously the Greens have got their people saying one thing, our people are talking to the facts in terms of there’s a 10% lead in the primary, which I am very proud of, “ Mr Beavis said.

“There’s been no distribution of the preferences at this stage and until they’re distributed no-one really knows, there’s about 7000 postal and I-Votes yet to be brought into the mix as well,” he said.

The New South Wales Electoral Commission said despite election predictions those in closely contested seats might not know the outcome until mid-next week.

Electoral Commission spokesman Richard Carroll said the job of the commission is to keep counting between now and then and the situation in the seat of Ballina is not yet clear.

“Our job is to count the votes accurately and as quickly as possible and we leave it up to election analysts to take that information and make assumptions and calls about who they think is ahead,” Mr Carroll said.

“The fact that the ABC is putting the Greens candidate ahead, whereas the Nationals candidate is not conceding defeat isn’t unusual, and we will just have to wait and see what the final result is,” he said.

Postal voting closes on Wednesday the 3rd of April and counting will be finalised on the 8th of April.

Greens candidate for the seat of Ballina, Tamara Smith believes there’s every indication the seat will go to the Greens.

The party is expecting to pick up preferences from Labor as well as the Independent candidate and former Greens member, Jeff Johnson.

Ms Smith said it’s time the seat of Ballina showed its true colours.

“I think we deserve to be Green and I think a lot of people feel that way and the Greens are the party of the people and our integrity is there, particularly on the issue of coal seam gas,” Ms Smith said.

But she said the Green landslide isn’t based solely on the coal seam gas issue.

“I don’t think it’s just coal seam gas, don’t forget that we door-knocked over 6000 doors, we did a lot of work in the community listening to the community, and I think there was conflation of a whole lot of things,” Ms Smith said.

Source: ABC News

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